Colourful Peterborough parade as Sikhs celebrate holy day
Hundreds of worshippers took part in a colourful parade to mark one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar.
The huge procession took place on Saturday to celebrate the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth. Guru Nanak was the first Guru and founder of the Sikh religion. The parade took worshippers from the Gurdwara Baba Budha Sahib in Royce Road to the Sri Guru Singh Sahba Gurdwara in Newark Road. The route was originally planned to end in Cathedral Square, but bad weather forced organisers to cut the parade short. Jagdev Singh, president of the Gurdwara Baba Budha Sahib and one of the organisers of the event, said it was a special day for all Sikhs. He said: “When we started there were 500 people taking part - and by the time the parade finished there were more than 700. “It is a very important day for Sikhs, because Guru Nanak founded the religion. We have not had a joint parade like this in Peterborough for 30 years. “The 550th anniversary is so important - people like myself won’t be here for the 600th.” People travelled from across the region to take part in the parade. The procession itself was led by a large drum. Mr Singh said: “The drum is sounded to wake people up to say the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book for Sikhs) is about to come past. “After the drum, there are people with water and people sweeping the road, as a mark of respect to the Guru Granth.
“There are then flag carriers and five Panj Pyrae (chosen ones). “Then there is the float with the Holy Guru Granth.” When the procession arrived at the Sri Guru Singh Sahba Gurdwara, there were speeches from members of the Sikh community as well as dignitaries including Bishop of Peterborough The Right Rev Donald Allister, Dean of Peterborough The Very Rev Chris Dalliston, chief executive of Peterborough City Council Gillian Beasley and Mayor of Peterborough cllr Gul Nawaz. The Gurdwara’s will be hosting a series of events to mark the anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak over the next few weeks.